Jonathan Borrajo: “It’s a sprint, it’s not a marathon this league.” (Dennis Schneidler/USA TODAY Sports)
UNIONDALE, N.Y. — Given that the National Premier Soccer League regular season has only 10 games, this is a big week for Cosmos B.
The team hosts two games and two wins will put it in a comfortable position in the North Atlantic Conference Division.
Cosmos B (1-0) hosts the Brooklyn Italians, who eliminated the side in a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup play-in match 10 days ago, in its home opener Tuesday and Greater Lowell NPSL FC Sunday.
Tuesday’s game is at Hofstra Soccer Stadium in Hempstead, N.Y. at 8 p.m. ET, while Sunday’s encounter is set for the nearby Mitchel Athletic Complex in Uniondale, N.Y. at 4 p.m. ET.
By Sunday night, Cosmos B will have played 30 percent of its schedule.
“It’s a sprint, it’s not a marathon this league,” defender Jonathan Borrajo said. “That’s why the mentality had to change. And it was almost a silver lining that we took it on the chin in the Open Cup. We’d still like to be a part of that, but I think it was a good awakening now for the league. This is very important and there’s no mental lapses or slips that we can have in the league. It’s so short. Every match, you’ve got to be 100 percent mentally tuned in and ready to show up and get three points.”
Head coach Carlos Mendes agreed, adding that Tuesday’s game was the more immediate concern.
“It’s a big week,” he said. “One game at a time, but obviously two very important games. I think it’ll set the tone. If you pick up six points, you put yourself in a good position early on. It’s important to do well at home. You want to pick up the points.at home. It’s never easy to go on the road. We’re focused on Brooklyn right now, making sure we play well and then shift gears.”
Cosmos B is hoping to avenge its 3-2 defeat to the Italians at LIU Brooklyn May 6.
“Every single player has to be motivated,” team captain Danny Szetela said. “We’re playing a team that knocked us out of the Open Cup. For us, it’s revenge. We want to beat Brooklyn.”
Borrajo welcomed another shot at Brooklyn.
“This is one of the beautiful things of soccer,” he said. “You get another opportunity. We have another chance to play the team that knocked us out of the cup.
“We’ve had a really, really good of a week of preparation. I think the mentality going into this game, we have a statement to make to make up from what happened. The boys have had a week of training. We’re looking forward to it.”